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15 February 2017 08:38
Safety advice has been offered to winter sports fans
The collaborative #SkiSafe campaign has been relaunched in a bid to raise safety awareness among winter sports enthusiasts.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ski Club GB are providing tools to help everyone stay safe on the slopes, including a #SkiSafe checklist, insurance guidelines and top safety tips from British Winter Olympian Graham Bell.
Slopes are classified in terms of difficulty, but conditions on the pistes can vary throughout the day and the #SkiSafe campaign warns that it's important even the most avid skiers are familiar with the routes and conditions.
"Piste conditions change during the day; what was a cruising blue run mid-morning could be difficult, and more like a challenging red run, by 4pm," the FCO warns.
The campaign collaboration also highlights that there has been an increase in the number of winter sports fans shunning the main runs in pursuit of more challenging off-piste routes.
But skiers and snowboarders should not go off-piste without being fully prepared, as the Government website advises: "You should make sure you take and are able to use competently the appropriate equipment - an avalanche transceiver, a probe pole and a shovel."
Graham Bell is a former Olympic skier and now campaigns to raise awareness of staying safe on the slopes.
His #SkiSafe tips include being physically fit before taking a trip, using the right equipment and helmet, and making "sure your insurance policy covers all of the winter sports activities that you are planning to do".
Medical costs and returning to the UK unexpectedly can be very expensive, the FCO cautions.
Anyone planning on hitting the slopes can take out specialist winter sports travel insurance to protect against unexpected costs.
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